13 Hathaway Rd, Lexington

Market Analysis for:

Glenda & Jeremy Singer

I've done a market analysis on your home at 13 Hathaway Rd in Lexington and have prepared this document to help explain how I've arrived at a price for your home. I perform a market analysis and calculate a price taking into consideration a home’s location, size, configuration, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size and general condition. I also scrutinize the home for issues that, in my experience, will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable. Then, I look at your current competition - the other homes that buyers in your price range will be viewing, to help determine your price. I will also include in this report an analysis of what a builder would pay for your home as a teardown as part of the 'Buyer or Builder' program.

Contents

  1. Description of Home
  2. Market Dynamics
  3. Analysis of Relevant Properties
  4. Pricing Recommendation
  5. Marketing

Description of home

Please note that these comments do not relate to marketing, but are included purely to ensure that we have captured the information and reflect the major components of your home.

Your home is in a desirable area of Lexington and is located on 0.69 acres.  It was built in 1958 and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It has 1570 sq ft of living area but when you include the 264 sq ft in the finished area of the basement which totals 1834 sq ft. It has a 2 car garage. It has hot water baseboard heat fueled by oil.  Tile floors in the foyer, hardwoods in the family room, dining room and kitchen, carpets in the remainder of the home (apart from bathrooms). The home has a huge deck, along with a 3 season porch, an inground swimming pool and is fully fenced.

As you walk in the front door you enter a foyer with ceramic floor tiles, a door out to the garage on the left, a door to a living room on the right and stairs up to the main level directly in front. The living room has carpet, a full bathroom, access to the basement and a door to the 3 season porch. The bathroom has white wall tiles, a shower and toilet. The 3 season sun porch has a door out to the deck and half height windows on 3 sides.

As you go upstairs from either the living room or the foyer you enter the main living areas. The family room has a vaulted ceiling, a wood burning fireplace surrounded by tumbled marble, multiple skylights, an open plan dining room, stairs up to the bedroom level. A cased opening leads to the kitchen area. The kitchen area has sliding glass door leading out to the deck, red laminate counters and backsplash, black appliances and the stairs to the living room.

There are stairs to the bedroom level from the dining/family room area. The stairs, landing and bedrooms are carpeted.  The full bathroom has a tub/shower, ceramic floor tiles, single sink vanity and toilet. The 3 bedrooms are lot large, but not small either.

 Downstairs in the basement we have a large semifinished area with a wood burning fireplace with a raised hearth, laminate flooring and an area for the oil boiler and hot water tank that would need to be closed off to consider this living area for sale. There is a laundry in an unfinished area which also has a walkout door, and access to a low ceilinged storage area.


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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Lexington over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Lexington because of the strong school system, the community dynamics and vibrant downtown. People like the feeling of the downtown area, and want to stop and have a coffee, or have dinner at the many restaurants, or just watch the world go by, chatting with folks who are out and about. The Minuteman bike path and conservation areas close by pull those who desire an outdoor lifestyle while still remaining within commuting distance to Boston.

The Lexington market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Lexington far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Lexington are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2005. Average single family home prices have been increasing steadily since 2009. The real estate market downturn that existed for the last few years is well and truly over and prices are continuing to increase each year.

Sales distribution statistics for single family homes show that the $1M-$1.5M price-range is the most active in Lexington. The next busiest price range in Lexington is the $1.5M - $2M price range. This is an indicator that new construction is having a significant impact on the average single family home prices in Lexington. The number of new construction homes being built in Lexington in 2013 was 55 homes, 70 homes in 2014, 71 homes in 2015, and 66 homes in 2016.

Before reviewing the price per sq foot charts it is important to throw in a caveat of using the average as the definitive guide. There is wide variability among agents as to what is included in the living area reported in MLS. In some instances, agents will include a finished component of the basement in the living area and this is acceptable so long as how the living area is calculated is disclosed. Others report the living area reported in public record, which never includes finished areas in the basement, but note in MLS that there is a finished basement. To this end, it is important to review each individual listing to determine the ‘true’ price per sq. ft. of above ground living area, but we also need to factor into this when a home has a finished basement.

Reviewing the price per sq. foot charts for single family homes shows us that the average price per sq. ft. in Lexington around the $800K price range is around $411 per sq. ft. It’s important to note that the maximum price per sq. ft. achieved varies across most price ranges, along with the minimum obtained for each price range.

When the year built before the 1950’s the average price per sq. ft. is $413.

The chart below shows that single family homes in Lexington of similar size to your home in the 2,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $401 but it increases to $478 per sq. ft. when you decrease to the 1,000 square foot range. It is common across municipalities to see an increase in the price per square foot for smaller sized homes, as it reflects the minimum cost of a home in a town irrespective of the property size.

The chart below shows how many months’ supply of inventory there is in a given price range. It uses the assumption that given the same rate of sales over the prior 12 months, and considering current inventory available for sale, how many months it should take to sell the available inventory. This is referred to “Absorption” in the real estate world. 

Any price range where there is more than 7 months’ supply, we consider there to be an oversupply of inventory, also known as a ‘buyer’s market’. Anything between 4 – 6 months is considered a balanced market. Anything less than 3 months’ supply is considered a shortage of inventory on the market at this price range, also known as a ‘sellers’ market’. As can be seen, currently, absorption rates for all homes in the $800K price range are just over 2 month’s supply showing a shortage.

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Analysis of Relevant Properties

The following map shows the  homes that we believe to be of value in determining the price of your  home. Below the map you will find basic information  provided for each home including the price the home was  listed at, and the price the home sold at (if sold), the listing date, Days on market, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, living area size and lot size.  Noted for each home is a classification of Relevance which outlines whether we think the  property is valued Less (L), Relevant/Comparable (R) or Higher (H) than  your home. The notes for each home outlines the similarities and differences between  your home and the one being analyze

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This split entry style home was built in 1967, yours in 1958.  It is smaller than your home at 1,572 sq  ft including the lower level family room and laundry area. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 3 bedrooms like your home does. It has 2.5 bathrooms which is half a bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms.  It sits on a smaller 0.39 acre lot , whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The main level includes the living room which has a fireplace and wide window. It is directly connected to the dining room. Both the living room and the dining room have access to the kitchen. The kitchen has similar vintage cabinets as your home, ceramic tile back splash, laminate floors, white appliances, and exterior access to the deck.  The 2 family bedrooms are on this level including a full bathroom. The master bedroom with an attached half bathroom is also on this level.  The family room with a fireplace is on the lower level together with a full bathroom. The lower level has hardwood floors.  This home has an attached 2-car garage, as yours does. It was listed for $799,000 and was sold for $802,000 after 2 days on the market.

Relevance: Less. Given the smaller size of the home, smaller lot size and similar condition I believe this home will sell for less than your home.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This is one of my team members' listing. This ranch style home was built in 1960, yours in 1958.  It is a bit larger than your home at 1,921 sq  ft of approx. living area although all of the living area is above ground. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 3 bedrooms like your home does. It has 2.5 bathrooms which is half a bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms.  It sits on a smaller 0.45 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The main level includes the living room which has a fireplace on brick wall to the ceiling and picture window. The family room has a wall of windows, hardwood floors, and a fireplace on brick walls to the ceiling. It is open to the dining room and they are separated by a faux wall/divider made of decorative metal. The kitchen has white cabinetry, ceramic tile countertop and decorative ceramic tile back splash, ceramic tile floors, black appliances, a pass-through window to the dining room, and bay window by the informal dining area. The 2 family bedrooms are on this level including a full bathroom.  The master bedroom has an attached bathroom and hardwood floors. The attached master bathroom has double vanity sink, a shower stall and a Jacuzzi.  A playroom with a fireplace is on the lower level but is not included in the measured living area. This home has an attached 2-car garage, as yours does. It was listed for $899,000. It went under agreement immediately to a builder and will sell for $865,000. There was some question with regard to conservation land issues that meant that the builders were a little reluctant to offer on the home.

Relevance: Less. Given that the home is larger, but the land is smaller and had some concerns with regard to feasibility of building I believe your home should sell for more than this home.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This colonial style home was built in 1944, yours in 1958.  It has a similar size with your home at 1,886 sq  ft of all above ground living area. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 3 bedrooms like your home does. It has 2 full bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a smaller 0.2 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The main level includes the living room which has a fireplace with white mantel, chair rail, crown molding, hardwood floors and is accessible from the foyer through French doors. The formal dining room is on the left from the foyer and has chair rails, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has white cabinetry, matching white appliances, granite countertops, and ceramic tile backsplash and floors. The family room has cathedral ceiling, custom built-ins, picture window/s, hardwood floors, and an exterior access to the deck. The upper level includes the master bedroom and 2 more family bedrooms and a common full bathroom.  This home has mostly hardwood floors. This home has an attached 2-car garage, as yours does. The home has been freshly painted inside and presented beautifully. It was initially listed for $939,000 but price dropped to $919,000 before it went under agreement. It was sold for $907,000 after being on the market for a total of 48 days.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the similar size but superior condition of this home I believe this home is relevant to your home but it will sell for higher.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This multi-Level style home was built in 1955, yours in 1958.  It is larger than your home at 2,767 sq  ft of approx. living area. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 4 bedrooms, which is 1 bedroom more than your home of 3 bedrooms does. It has 2.5 bathrooms, which is half a bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms. It sits on a larger 0.77 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The foyer has cathedral ceiling and picture windows to the ceiling and is accessible through a stained glass door. It leads to the living room with a fireplace on brick wall to the ceiling, bay window/s, and hardwood floors. This home has a piano room which has bay window/s, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has picture windows, and laminate floors. It is accessible through a hall with hardwood floors and recessed china cabinet with glass panels.  The kitchen has white cabinets the same vintage as your cabinetry, modern but mismatched appliances, and a kitchen island, cathedral ceiling with skylights, an informal dining area with bay window/s, and an exterior access to the deck.  A family bedroom is also on the main level together with a full bathroom. The master bedroom is on the upper level and it has walk in closet, bay window/s and hardwood floors. Two more bedrooms and a half bathroom are also on the upper level.  A recreation room with kitchenette and a full bathroom is on the lower level. This home has an attached 2-car garage, as yours does. It was listed for $949,900 but was sold for a lower price of $922,500 after being on the market for a total of 7 days.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher.  Given the much larger size of the home, versus the inferior configuration with only a half bathroom on the same level as 3 bedrooms, and an in law suite downstairs in the basement, I believe this home is relevant to yours but it will sell for higher.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This cape style home was built in 1952, yours in 1958.  It is larger than your home at 2,026 sq  ft of all above ground approx. living area. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 3 bedrooms like your home does. It has 3 full bathrooms which is 1 bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms.  It sits on a larger 0.75 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The main level includes the living room which has a fireplace and hardwood floors. The family room also has a fireplace, a cathedral ceiling with skylights, and an exterior access to the patio, and has an open floor plan with the formal dining area. The kitchen has vinyl floors and a bay window.  The master bedroom is also on the main level and it has an attached bathroom, cathedral ceiling with skylights, hardwood floors, and picture windows.  An office is also on this level. The upper level includes 2 bedrooms and a full bathroom.  This home has a detached 2-car garage, while your home has an attached 2 car garage. It was listed for $995,000 and sold at a higher price, for $1,000,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger living area, larger lot size, superior condition I believe this home would sell for more to a buyer.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This Dutch Colonial gambrel style home was built in 1966, yours in 1958.  It is larger than your home at 2,564 sq  ft of approx. living area which includes the finished basement. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 4 bedrooms, which is 1 bedroom more than your home of 3 bedrooms.  It has 2 full bathrooms like your home does.  It sits on a larger 0.74 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The living room has a fireplace, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has wainscoting, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has custom built cabinets to the ceiling, vinyl flooring, and an informal dining area and was quite dated. A full bathroom with shower stall is also on the main level together with a walk way which has an exterior access to the deck and is overlooking the backyard.  The bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are on the upper level and they all share a full bathroom with double vanity sink. The lower level serves as a game room and it has a fireplace, exterior access, and wall to wall carpeting.  This home has an attached 2-car garage, as yours does. It was listed for $995,000, but was sold for a lower price of $937,500 after being on the market for a total of 9 days. It was bought by a builder with the intent to tear it down and build new, but wetlands were found on the land and they are doing a gut-renovation instead.

Relevance: Higher.  Given the larger size of the home, larger lot size, similar condition I believe a home buyer would not pay as much as this for your home.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This split entry style home was built in 1962 located just steps from the Lexington Res, yours in 1958.  It is larger than your home at 2,876 sq  ft of approx. living area including a finished basement. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 3 bedrooms like your home does. It has 2.5 bathrooms which is half a bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms.  It sits on a smaller 0.57 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. As you enter the front door, you have an option to either go up the main level or go down the lower level. The living room has a fireplace and wide double windows. It has an open floor plan to the formal dining room which has access to the sunroom through glass sliders. The sunroom has exterior access to the deck and another entry into the kitchen. The kitchen has an informal dining area and has dated white cabinetry to the ceiling, decorative tile backsplash, mismatched appliances, wallpaper, chair rail, and skylight. The bedrooms including the master bedroom are on this level. The master suite has a huge walk in closet, and a master bathroom. The master bath has ceramic tiles on the floor and walls, a shower, a Jacuzzi, and double vanity sink with white cabinets. The finished lower level includes the family room with a fireplace, an office, a separate laundry room and a utility room. The house has mostly wall to wall carpets except for the kitchen and bathrooms.  This home has an attached 2 car garage as yours does. It was listed for $998,000 and sold at a higher price of $1,147,000 after competition.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size of this home, superior condition including a master suite I believe home buyers will pay more for this home than for yours.

Your details: Living area 1834 sq ft | 3 beds | 2 baths | Lot size 0.69 acres | Built 1958

This multi-Level style home was built in the same year as yours in 1958.  It is larger than your home at 2,873 sq  ft of approx. living area including the finished basement. Your home has 1,834 sq ft of living area including the 264 sq ft of finished lower level. This home has 4 bedrooms, which is 1 room more than your home of 3 bedrooms does. It has 2.5 bathrooms, which is half a bathroom more than your home with 2 bathrooms. It sits on a larger 0.8 acre lot, whereas your home sits on a 0.69 acre lot. The main living area includes the living room. It has a fireplace on a half-height brick wall with mantel, triple window/s, hardwood floors, and a cathedral ceiling. It has an open floor plan with the formal dining area which has chair rail, triple window/s, hardwood floors, and cathedral ceiling. The kitchen is also on this level and it has stylish cabinets to the ceiling, stainless steel appliances, granite countertop, decorative ceramic tile backsplash, hardwood floors, and an informal dining area. The family room has hardwood floors and is connected to a sunroom through sliders. The sunroom has a cathedral ceiling. An office and a mudroom together with a half bathroom are also on this level. The master suite is on the upper level which has an attached office, an attached bathroom, double windows, wall to wall carpet, and walk in closet. The 3 other bedrooms and a family bathroom are also on this level. The lower level serves as a recreation area. This home has an attached 2 car garage as yours does. It was listed for $1,189,900 and sold at a higher price of $1,265,000 after being on the market for 5 days.

Relevance: Higher.  Given the larger size of the home, along with larger lot size I believe your home won't sell for as much as this home.  

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Pricing Recommendation

My analysis of the relevant homes outlined above suggests a final market value for your home of $880,000-$920,000 when selling to a buyer.  

Given the current market dynamics in Lexington, I would suggest listing your home at the lower end of this price range to attract more interest and potentially multiple offers.  If the market deems your home to be worth more than the list price, then the price will be pushed over the market value of your home, and sometimes well over when we get multiple offers. You can see many examples above that came on the market for a lot less, and competition pushed them up to the price they sold for. The challenge in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this price if they had priced it higher?’ or was competition the driving factor that got to this price.  Experience tells me that competition is why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing. A couple of good examples of competition pushing a price higher than market value is the home at 2 Tufts Rd which came on the market for $998,000 and sold for $1,147,000, and the home at 12 Hathaway Rd which came on the market for $1,189,000 and sold for $1,265,000. 

When homes are overpriced they end up sitting on the market and ultimately selling for less than market value, whereas homes priced realistically can often sell for well over market value. Competition is what will get us the highest sales price. As we see time and time again, if the buyers consider the market value of your home to be realistic in relation to the asking price, then competition will push the price up higher and often over the market value of the home. The challenge with overpricing is that the buyers are very educated – they go week after week to see homes in their price range so they KNOW what the prices are and what ‘feels’ right.

I have to stress that these are recommendations.  If you decided to sell your home, then we would bring your home on the market at whatever price you deem to be appropriate.  

Buyer or Builder

As part of our Buyer or Builder initiative we have asked 2 builders to review your lot to propose a tear down value for your home.  

Both builders initially came in with a price of $1,000,000. I went back to each and asked each to revise their price, and this has been the cause of the delay in getting this market analysis to you. I have received update prices from them which are following:

The builder who purchased 12 Hathaway, Ozan Dokmecioglu, is offering $1,100,000. I must admit I went back to them again to ask why they would not match the price that they paid for 12 Hathaway and they commented that the lot on 12 Hathaway was much larger at 0.80 acres,  and they were competing with home buyers for that home who, because of the larger size and superior condition of the home, the buyers were prepared to pay much higher for the home. They believe, in retrospect, that they overpaid for the home. He commented that they would be prepared to make the offer immediately and close within 5-6 weeks or whenever it worked for you after that initial period of time.

Mark Barons, of Barons Construction is offering a price of $1,080,000. He commented that he would be interested in making the offer in March and closing a few weeks later.

There are a couple of differences in selling to a builder: 

  1. is that you don't need to do any work to the home to prepare it, you take what you want from the home when you leave and the builder will dispose of your belongings that you don't want. 
  2. A builders offer will not have an inspection contingency, nor a mortgage contingency.  
  3. Most builders will also work with you with regard to closing date, and potentially allowing you to stay a little longer in your home after closing. Each sale is different and the builders are quite flexible when compared to a buyer because a buyer needs to have somewhere to move to, to live in, so there is less flexibility.
  4. When selling to a buyer there is a 5% selling fee. This selling fee is split equally between the listing agent's company and the buyers agent's company.  So your net when selling to a buyer is the market value - 5%. When selling to a builder there is no fee, as the builder pays the agent when the subsequent new construction is sold. So your net when selling to a builder is the price offered minus attorney fees, and typical closing costs.

If you would like me to get some other builders to come by to check out your land and provide additional offers then let me know.

If selling to buyers, determining the right price all depends on your motivation and your risk tolerance level. We know that homes that are priced at the 'strike price' will sell quicker and may generate more than one offer.  I’m an excellent negotiator and know how to push a price up if we have the market activity. I also know that some sellers want to put their home on for a higher price than I might recommend, which I’m willing to do, so long as it is understood that putting the home on for more than the majority of buyers perceive its value, could mean that your home will have a much longer market time and sell for less than it should have had it been priced properly out of the gate.

I DO NOT DETERMINE THE PRICE - the market dictates the value - what a buyer is willing to pay. My job is to make sure that you have the best market exposure and that your home is positioned well in the market.   I do not believe in projecting more money than I think your home will sell for just to get your business.

My team and I know how to stage and market your home, and I understand its value, but I can only sell it for what the market or a buyer will pay. I strongly believe that a home should be priced compared to the current competition, not just on what has sold in the last six months.  At the end of the day, you will be competing for the buyers looking for a home like yours and in the same price range. You can do far more 'damage' to the resultant price we get for your home if we overprice. The prospective serious buyers will see your home within the first weekend of your home coming on the market, and they will have seen everything else in this price range.  In other words, the serious buyer knows what is priced well.  If they don't see value in your home at its listing price and are not motivated to make an offer, then they will move on and keep looking.  In times of increasing prices, it is often hard to predict what a home will sell for, but be assured that even if we price your home lower than what market value is currently, market dynamics will bring the price of the home up to where it should be.  Prospective buyers should walk in thinking the price 'feels right' and are motivated to make an offer in the short term, rather than letting several months’ pass.

It is important to stress the value of marketing your home to capture the highest price.  In times of low inventory, we know your home will sell by doing the bare minimum to market it, BUT that is not going to get you the maximum price for your home.  Key to getting the maximum price for your home is to prepare a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates all avenues available to us to expose your home to the maximum number of buyers out there looking.  Exposure, and feet in the door, is what will get you the highest price for your home. Basic ratios help explain this.  If 10% of the buyers who walk in your door fall in love with your home, then if you only have 10 buyers walking in, then potentially there is only 1 buyer - if you have 100 buyers walking in your door then using the same ratios, you will potentially have 10 buyers falling in love with your home.  10 buyers will push the price up versus only one buyer.

 New statistics state that over 100% of potential buyers search the web as their primary search vehicle.  Thankfully, your home will show fabulously in photos. With historically low interest rates likely to increase and inventory at a 7-year low, there are still homes that do not sell in this market.  I’m making my recommendations to ensure that you are one of the sellers who will have success in the first month of being on the market, but optimally the first weekend.

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